PVCs on monitor

  1. Hello,

    was wondering if anyone could tell me why the bedside telemetry montors will often times start alarming saying the patient has had 79 PVCs? Clearly based on the patients condition this is not the case, but what causes the monitor to read this?
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    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 56; Likes: 18


  3. by   MGMR
    Monitors are not perfect, so sometimes the patient's rhythm will register as a PVC or Vtach, etc. to the monitor when that's not the case. Always look back to make sure and assess the patient of course, but most of the time it's obvious.

    I'm not sure if all monitors have this, but the ones I use have an option under "arrhythmia" that you can click called "re-learn arrhythmia" or "re-learn rhythm." You can click that so the monitor will register the patient's rhythm as NSR and not continue to call normal beats as PVCs or Vtach etc.
  4. by   PaSSiNGaS
    Did you look at the rhythm on the monitor? What did the rhythm look like?
  5. by   meanmaryjean
    Patients with bundle branch blocks and a widened QRS will often trigger this. As a PP stated, after assessing the patient and looking at the strip- have the monitor 're-learn'.
  6. by   nursej22
    Other factors that can influence monitor readings are electrode placement and selection, patient condition (flaky dry skin, emaciated, tremors, level of activity). I had a patient's spouse set off the VTach alarm by patting his shoulder and lead that was placed on it. Pacemakers can mimic a left bundle branch block, turn on the "paced" setting on the monitor.

    Some monitors are more sophisticated than others; as PP said, check and adjust settings.
  7. by   cdibley
    I've seen the monitor read paced rhythms as PVCs, I usually switch out all the lead stickers and hit re-learn on the monitor like others said. Gotta love the saying "treat the patient, not the monitor" so glad that gem was passed on to me in nursing school, has saved me from looking ridiculous a few times, not that I care lol
  8. by   RescueNinjaKy
    And I think on the monitors you can select paced and it might be able to read the pacer spikes better. Also if nothing works switch the wave that's being shown.